Mosquitoes, how to choose the most effective repellent

There are many anti-mosquito skin repellents. So how do you choose the right one? The criteria, explains Altroconsumo, are essentially two. First you need to check the name of the active ingredient and its concentration. Secondly, the format of the product (spray, stick, lotion …) and choose according to your needs. With the warm season also the very unpleasant mosquitoes arrive which, in addition to procuring painful and annoying bites, also emit a boring hum capable of disturbing our sleep. How to keep them away? On the market there is a great variety of repellents, chemical products that must be chosen carefully to be effective and safe. Here’s everything you need to know: How does mosquito repellent work? Repellents are products that are applied to the body to keep mosquitoes away. They do not kill them, but with different mechanisms they make sure that these insects are not attracted to us. A repellent product must be registered and approved for efficacy and safety by the Ministry of Health. For this reason, the label shows the indication “Surgical medical device” (PMC) or biocide product, with the name of the active ingredient (the most common are DEET, citrodiol and icaridin) and the concentration. complete list of ingredients (INCI) like a soap, it is not a repellent, but a cosmetic that by law cannot boast any effectiveness. Our tests, in fact, confirm it: these types of products based on essential oils such as lemongrass, thyme, lavender or geranium do not go beyond half an hour of protection. an effective repellent. Let’s see which are the most common. Deet, icaridin, citrepel and citrodiol The active ingredients that we can find in mosquito repellents are: • The Deet. It is very effective even at low concentrations (already from 7.5%). At 20% it protects for about 6 hours, more than 30% is recommended only for holidays in tropical countries or areas at risk. Causes severe skin irritation and is harmful to the aquatic environment with long lasting effects. It should be used very carefully and as a precaution, we do not recommend it for children. • Icaridina. It is effective from as low as 10%. Concentrations of 20% protect over 6 hours. It can be used for children from 2 years old. Causes eye irritation, so for children it is better to avoid formulations that spray themselves and prefer low concentrations. • citrepel and citrodiol: these are 2 different trade names of the only active of natural origin of recognized efficacy (Mixture of cis- and trans-p- mentano-3,8 diol). The citrepel comes from Cymbopogon winterianus oil and has a phytoactive concentration of up to 75%, citrodiol from Eucalyptus citriodora and citronellal oil and has phytoactive up to 66%. From 10% it protects for a few hours, but even by increasing concentrations over 20% it never reaches excellent ratings. It can be used in children from 2 years. Products based on essential oils (such as lemongrass, geranium, eucalyptus) cannot be declared “repellent”, but cosmetics i. A “natural” repellent per se is not necessarily safer as it may contain perfume allergens. Various types of anti-mosquito products Anti-mosquito repellents can be chosen in the format that best suits our needs. Sprays, sticks, roll-ons, milks, gels or wipes, there is something for everyone. SprayThe spray guarantees a quick application and can be shared between several people. Conversely, there is a risk that it will be accidentally inhaled or swallowed or irritate the eyes when sprayed. Two sizes are available, spray or vape lotions (plastic spray cans), and dry sprays or sprays (aluminum cans are vacuum packed) which are flammable. Stick and Roll on These sizes are good for small surfaces, such as ankles, neck and arms. They are comfortable to take with you, but less hygienic than sprays if they are to be used by several people. Lats and gels They are comfortable to spread and safer for children because they avoid the risk of inhalation. In general they are a little less effective than sprays. Wipes They are useful for renewing the coverage after some time has passed from the first application or when the exposed parts are few (for example, hands and neck). repellents, to counteract the boring mosquitoes there are other mechanical solutions, such as traps, ultrasounds and lamps, and natural ones such as some plants or DIY products. Let’s see them in detail. Traps, ultrasounds and lamps CO2 traps, and anti-mosquito lamps are mechanical solutions that can be used alternatively or in combination with sprays and repellent lotions; instead ultrasound systems are useless • CO2 traps. Particularly suitable for medium-sized gardens, these devices emit particular concentrations of carbon dioxide, a substance that has the power to attract mosquitoes. Once in the trap, the female and fertilized mosquitoes that feed on blood in order to assimilate the proteins, will no longer be able to feed and feed the eggs and will die. have hearing that can be disturbed by ultrasound. These emitters can be effective against small mammals and rodents, but not against insects. • Mosquito repellent lamps. On the market there is a great variety of specific lamps against mosquitoes: they are comfortable and more or less effective depending on the use made of them. The choice is divided between electric lamps that electrocute the mosquito once it gets too close to the light and fan lamps that attract mosquitoes with an ultraviolet light. Natural solutions and DIY products There are also natural solutions to keep mosquitoes away. the so-called “do-it-yourself remedies” which are at the same time low cost and harmless to health. Let’s see which are the main ones: • Put mosquito nets on the windows. • Use the fan to dilute carbon dioxide and hinder the flight of mosquitoes. • Avoid water stagnating in the vases. • Candles and spirals (the “zampironi”) create a smokescreen that repels mosquitoes There are some plants, such as lemongrass, lemon verbena, geraniums, basil, lavender, mint, garlic, geranium and catambra, which are attributed an anti-mosquito efficacy of which, however, there is no certainty: it could be so try to plant them to see if mosquitoes keep away from our gardens and balconies, but it is good not to create expectations. Where to buy mosquito repellent products To choose mosquito repellent it is important to check the concentration of the active ingredient and then choose the product format (spray, stick, lotion …) according to your needs.

1 thought on “Mosquitoes, how to choose the most effective repellent”


Comments are closed.